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Ben Mondor, longtime minor league baseball owner, dies at 85

October 4, 2010 |  3:23 pm

Mondor Ben Mondor, the longtime owner of the Boston Red Sox Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket, R.I., who rescued the moribund franchise from bankruptcy and turned it into a cornerstone of the blue-collar city's identity, has died. He was 85.

Mondor died peacefully Sunday night at his home in Warwick, R.I., the Pawtucket Red Sox said in a statement on their website. No cause of death was given.

Mondor bought the franchise in 1977, and despite its financial problems, was determined to keep the team fan-friendly and family-affordable. The top ticket price last season was $11. Most parking is still free.

"We had to make a philosophical decision whether to jack up ticket prices and make some money," he said in 2000. "We chose to go with the blue-collar guy ... who has to think about [paying for] a car tire or battery."

Under Mondor's leadership, the team became a popular alternative to the Boston Red Sox for fans who could not afford tickets to the major league team, Pawtucket Mayor James Doyle said.

Rhode Island Gov. Don Carcieri said the state has lost "a beloved figure and a true friend."

-- Associated Press

Photo: Ben Mondor in 2004. Credit: Associated Press